Tag Archives | Canada

CETA, the corporate lobby and the new transatlantic economy

corporate-charterThe Council of Canadians says corporations have direct influence over the terms of the Canada-EU trade deal and have used it to introduce policies that favour them over the public.

Sujata Dey, Trade Campaigner for the Council of Canadians says, “The push for multilateral trade deals is (though they say it’s for lower tariffs and more economic opportunity) usually because business interests are pushing the deals. There’s a huge amount of lobbying going on.”

Dey says that not only are businesses pushing for free trade policies, but are then often involved in writing the terms of the agreements between states.

Dey says, “There are all kinds of lobby groups working on the deal. It’s nebulous because it’s impossible to put our finger on who’s doing what, but groups like Business-Europe are very involved in lobbying, even the NGO tables and half of the NGOs are industry associations. It’s a horrible process that reflects the interest of the corporate agenda.”

Dey continues, “The people around the table are the people who make the decisions.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Massive Orgy For Disabled People in Toronto

You might think that Canadians are kind of conservative, but is there a disabled orgy of sex planned in your city? The Toronto Sun reports on how “The Berlin wall of sex for people with disabilities is coming down!”:

A major barrier is about to fall for Toronto’s disabled.

Photo: David Amsler (CC)

Photo: David Amsler (CC)

 

The city’s first ever accessible orgy is set for this summer.

Yes, you read that right. An accessible orgy. Just in time for the Parapan Am Games and, no, it’s not a demonstration sport.

“The Berlin wall of sex for people with disabilities is coming down!” organizer Stella Palikarova tells me down the line from Ottawa.

She is there to present a paper to the Canadian Sociological Association, on Experiences of Dating and Sexuality among Heterosexual Females with Congenital Mobility Disabilities.

So, you can see, this orgy is no sleazy fly-by-night racket.

Palikarova, 35, a disability awareness consultant, dreamed up the idea, which may even be a world first.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Poisoning the Democratic Well

Alex Indigo (CC BY 2.0)

Alex Indigo (CC BY 2.0)

Murray Dobbin writes at CounterPunch:

Opponents of so-called free trade deals have always struggled with the question of why these international treaties don’t generate more alarm and vocal opposition from Canadians. These treaties, after all, trump all other Canadian authority to make laws — provincial legislatures, Parliament, the courts and even the Constitution. If, instead of being bored by news of another ho-hum “trade deal,” Canadians were told that a panel of three international trade lawyers would be reviewing all new laws and determining, in secret, which ones passed muster by meeting with the approval of their giant corporate clients, would they react differently?

That is effectively what all of these corporate rights treaties establish: extra-judicial rulings whose objective is to protect the profits against laws passed in the public interest. The clauses that allow such suits are referred to as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

Read the rest
Continue Reading

One-Third of American 8th Graders Think Canada is a Dictatorship

There’s clearly some pernicious, ahem, disinformation, being disseminated in US middle schools! CBC (Canada’s government-funded broadcaster, which is I suppose an organ of the state), is reporting in outraged terms that one-third of American 8th graders think Canada is a dictatorship:

The days of politically frustrated Americans declaring “That’s it, I’m moving to Canada!” could soon be coming to an end — at least among teenagers who value freedom and equality.

568px-Canada_flag_map.svg

 

According to the U.S. government’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 33 per cent of American eight graders currently believe that Canada is a dictatorship.

This finding was one of many revealed by the NCES in its 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress report when it was released late last month.

Alternately called “The Nation’s Report Card,” the publication presents the results of standardized tests given to more than 29,000 eighth-grade students across the U.S. last year.

It was here that reporters learned of how many young Americans may actually think Canada has more in common with North Korea, politically, than with our neighbours to the South.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

#Spocking Living Long and Prospering

Relief for Canadians as the subversive act of “Spocking” $5 bank notes is declared legal by the Bank of Canada, per BBC News:

The Bank of Canada has said that it is not illegal to deface or mutilate banknotes.

The announcement was made after actor Leonard Nimoy’s death last week set off a craze of marking-up banknotes.

canada 5 dollar bill

The drawings make the country’s former Prime Minister, Wilfrid Laurier, look like Spock, Nimoy’s famous Star Trek character.

“#Spocking living long and prospering,” tweeted the Canadian Design Resource group.

“Boldly go ahead, doodlers: bank says ‘Spocking’ Laurier on Canadian $5 not illegal,” one tweet read.

Bank spokeswoman Josianne Menard did not encourage the practice, however.

“The Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride,” Menard told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in an email…

[continues at BBC News]

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Canada to allow doctor-assisted suicide

Partha S. Sahana (CC BY 2.0)

Partha S. Sahana (CC BY 2.0)

Via BBC News:

Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that doctors may help patients who have severe and incurable medical conditions to die, overturning a 1993 ban.

In a unanimous decision, the court said the law impinged on Canadians’ rights.

The case was brought by a civil rights group on behalf of two women, Kay Carter and Gloria Taylor, with degenerative diseases. Both have since died.

The government now has a year to rewrite its law on assisted suicide.

If it does not, the current law will be struck down.

Assisted suicide is legal in several European countries and a few US states.

In Canada is it illegal to counsel, aid or abet a suicide, and the offence carries up to 14 years in prison.

Continue reading.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Did GMO Corn Really Kill All Those Bees In Canada?

Toshihiro Gamo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Toshihiro Gamo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This piece originally appeared on HoneyColony.

Last week, a story about GMO corn killing millions of bees in Canada went viral. Only one small oversight, the title was misleading and the event was two years old. With the pesticide pushers regularly spreading misinformation, it’s important that we get our facts straight. What is the current bee situation in Canada and who really is to blame?

The Link Between GMO Corn And Bees

As the director of the film Vanishing of the Bees, and the resident bee guardian within my virtual community, FB friends regularly post bee news on my wall. Last week, a handful of people sent me a story titled 37 Million Bees Found Dead In Ontario, Canada After Planting Large GMO Corn Field. It sounded familiar. Interested to learn more, I tracked down the beekeeper Dave Schuit who had lost all those bees.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Democracy in the Pits: Taking a Look at Mining in Canada

6923990782_b119eb03fa_b

These articles were sent to me by fellow Disinfonaut, Earth Star, via the contact page.

Democracy in the Pits: The Corrosive Effect of Canadian Mining Companies Worldwide

In a recent article chronicling the demise of Canadian social democracy at the hands of the Harper Conservatives, Marianne Lenabat draws an important comparison: what the financial sector is to the United States, so are the extractive industries to Canada. The similarity isn’t just about the two sectors’ relative size or contribution to GDP, although it starts there. It’s about how each country’s respective darling industry has come to dictate government policy, even when the social harm they inflict far outweighs their economic benefits.

In both countries, the same platitudes are trotted out to justify the government’s helpless devotion: The industry is vital to the economic health of the nation. It leads the world in innovation. It creates the jobs we need to build communities of hard-working families.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Canadian Soil Sample Delivers a New ‘Weapon in the War on Superbugs’

Superbug DestroyerScientists in Ontario have found a fungus that deactivates the gene in harmful bacteria which makes them so resistant to antibiotics.

A soil sample from a national park in eastern Canada has produced a compound that appears to reverse antibiotic resistance in dangerous bacteria.

Scientists at McMaster University in Ontario discovered that the compound almost instantly turned off a gene in several harmful bacteria that makes them highly resistant to treatment with a class of antibiotics used to fight so-called superbug infections. The compound, called aspergillomarasmine A, or AMA, was extracted from a common fungus found in soil and mold.

Antibiotic resistance is a growing public-health threat. Common germs such as Escherichia coli, or E. coli, are becoming harder to treat because they increasingly don’t respond to antibiotics. Some two million people in the U.S. are infected each year by antibiotic-resistant bacteria and 23,000 die as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Heads-up Canada, B.C. Government Has Given Industry Access to Our Parks: A Drift Card I Found on the Beach

BC_card_thumbvia chycho

On 26 March 2014, to my disappointment and dismay, I found out that the Government of British Columbia had passed a bill that would drastically alter the management of B.C. parks (2, 3, 4).

Bill 4, the ‘Park Amendment Act’ of 2014 was introduced into the B.C. legislature on February 13 and became law on March 24:

“Bill 4 allows for industry (and others) to carry out ‘research’ in provincial parks related to pipelines, transmission lines, roads and other industrial activities that might require park land. It also reduces legal protection for smaller parks and enables film production in BC parks….

“Bill 4 seems to be premised on the idea park protection unreasonably constrains government and industry. That’s not consistent with the BC government’s claim that parks are a public trust, to be managed for the protection of BC’s natural environment, and the inspiration, use and enjoyment of [the public].

Read the rest
Continue Reading